Plants are usually not covered by mover insurance, so packing
your plants involves some planning - but the effort will be worth
it. Not only will your plants arrive in the best condition, but
they'll instantly add brightness and homeliness to your new
What to do before you move
- Check quarantine restrictions if you are moving
interstate to be sure you are allowed to take the plants with
- Maintain the good health of your plants in the weeks
leading up to your move so they will be strong and healthy enough
to weather the change.
- Save good sturdy boxes and line with plastic sheeting.
These will be used on the day of your move.
- Prune potted plants, except succulents and ferns, 2 weeks
before your move so that they will not break off or become
"straggly" in the move.
- If necessary, re-pot plants into non-breakable plastic
containers and treat them for pests about a week before the
- If you plan to move large stone, earthenware or concrete
pots, carefully check that they are not corroded or cracked before
the move. There's nothing as disheartening - or as messy - as
seeing your favourite potted cumquat tree smashed on the
On the day of the move
- Drain excess water from the pots, clean away snails,
pests and spiders and generally tidy up the pots.
- Pack your plants into the plastic lined boxes you've
already prepared. If they contain breakable pots, make sure to tell
your professional removalists, or those helping you with your
- Larger pots should be placed in strong plastic bags to
stop soil spillage. Wrap plastic around the foliage to prevent any
unnecessary damage. Tape them firmly but not so tight that you
'suffocate' the plant.
It's quite acceptable to take a selection of cuttings and
favourite plants with you - as long as you get permission from the
new residents first.
- Dig up the garden plants on the day of the move to ensure
the greatest success in relocation.
- Wrap the root ball in plastic sheeting and ensure the
soil is moist. The best idea is to place pots into bin liner bags
secured with a pest strip. They can be sealed for up to 6
- Tie cane supports to larger plants to minimise the chance
of 'snapping' when travelling.
At your new home
- Although you'll have a lot of other things to worry
about, it is important NOT to forget your plants. If you can't
plant properly when you arrive, dig a hole and cover the roots to
protect them until you have a chance to do the job properly.
- Your new environment may be quite different from the
previous environment your plants are used to. Test the soil with a
pH kit to check if the soil is acid or alkaline.
- Keep a close eye on your plants for several weeks after
the move. Trees and larger plants may take up to a year to settle.
Water and fertilise well until they are fully settled.
And remember... Enjoy your new garden environment. Get used to
the new setting, climate or orientation of your garden, and take
the opportunity to create a new landscape.